Allegiant Air Tells Passengers They’re “On Your Own” After Diverting Syracuse Enroute to Niagara Falls

I’ve had crazy flight issues.  I’ve been diverted many times, I’ve had flights get cancelled while I was on board, I’ve had airports close while we were in the air, and I’ve been in an airplane that was hit by a truck.  (on the ground)

In every situation, I’ve never doubted that I’d eventually get to my destination.  I just assumed (and correctly in each situation) that the airline would make sure I got there.

This wasn’t the case for some Allegiant Air passengers.  Their flight to Niagara Falls diverted to Syracuse.

niagara falls

While the airline initially promised to rent a motorcoach to take them the rest of the way, they eventually told passengers that they are on their own.

From WKBW, an ABC affiliate:

Passengers on the flight say they were stuck waiting at Hancock International Airport in Syracuse for hours while the airline told them it was arranging for buses to take everyone back to Niagara Falls.

Dave Mammoser of Hamburg said Allegiant told passengers at 9 p.m. they’d have to find their own way home.

“There would be no buses.  There would be no transportation and we are on our own,” he said.  “Those were her exact words, ‘on your own’.”

Allegiant Air is reimbursing all customers the cost of their tickets.  I do think this is a bit of a strange situation though.  Since they were waiting for hours for these promised buses to show up, I’m not sure everyone would have been equipped to suddenly rent a car and drive to Niagara.  (For example, I personally would have started drinking in the lounge to relieve the stress).

The reason they backed out was because they were unable to secure buses from any company.  If I were them, I would not have opened with saying we would provide bussing–I would say we are trying to procure it but if anyone wanted to make their own way to Niagara, they’d get the leg of their fare refunded.

I think the problem in this case was offering something before they knew whether or not they could see it through.  They ultimately couldn’t, and that was the overall failure on their part–creating an expectation.

What do you think?

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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  1. My 19 year old college student could figure out how to charter a bus with a credit card and a cell phone. The moral of this story: don’t fly Allegiant

  2. well I mean when flying @Allegiant … you get what you pay for

  3. thanks for letting us know the truck hit the plane on the ground. Important clarification!

  4. Note to self… fly a real Airline..

  5. Why would they want to secure kisses from a company? I think you meant buses not busses.

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      You never know. Diversions can get pretty lonely if you don’t know anyone else on your flight. (thanks, I fixed it)

  6. Pretty poor service to promise buses were coming when they hadn’t been secured. Like you said, customers could have already arranged transport on their own in the meantime, had they known. I’ve always been wary of trying Allegiant despite the sometimes very low fares, stories like this are one reason why!

  7. We are very happy with Allegiant. They have direct flights which are inexpensive and convenient. Sometimes there is a cost, but we are up for an adventure, being Americans and all. I don’t think one fail in a thousand calls for whining. I never wait for help, just put on my big girl panties, step over the crybabies and get on with it.

  8. Having lived in Syracuse (and having a horrible overpriced taxi experience) I can attest to the fact that public transportation there sucks, no one cares about each other, and getting a bus company at night is probably tough as nails. Nor would airport transportation to hotels be a great option either. Its just a wanna be type of city and airport, and I would be frustrated just having to land there! Best option might be to wait to the following morning for bus, or grab Amtrak at 10pm westbound. (BTW – good luck on the lounge at SYR – there isn’t one 🙁 )

  9. I hope these passengers file DOT complaints — IIRC, Allegiant isn’t allowed to do this legally and can face stiff fines for it.

  10. Sounds like what happened the time we flew Ryanair. Except they refunded our tickets first; then charged us twice as much to take the Charter bus they got for us. 😛

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